In some situations, you can get workers’ comp in Florida if you quit your job. However, sometimes leaving will result in losing benefits.
If you quit or must quit and have a workplace injury claim, it could help to consult with a Plantation workers’ compensation lawyer with our firm before making changes to your employment.
Workers’ Comp Benefits in Florida
Most employers in Florida must provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp coverage includes the following benefits for employees injured on the job:
- Medical benefits. As long as you seek treatment from a provider authorized by your insurance, workers’ comp should pay for your necessary medical expenses. Coverage may include doctor and hospital fees, medical testing, physical therapy, medications, mobility aids, and nursing services.
- Wage benefits. If you cannot work at all due to your injury, you can receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD). TTD benefits equal two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage (AWW) up to the state maximum. If you can perform restricted or light-duty work during your recovery, you can receive Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), which compensates for a portion of the difference between your post-injury wage and AWW. Benefits can last up to 104 weeks. If your injury results in a permanent disability, you may qualify for permanent benefits.
- Death benefits. Workers’ compensation will pay for funeral and burial expenses and provide wage benefits to the dependents of a fatally injured worker.
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What Happens to Your Workers’ Compensation Claim if You Quit?
Your employer cannot force you to go back to work. Only a doctor can decide if you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and can return. Your doctor may also prevent you from performing restricted or light-duty work while recovering.
If your healthcare provider decides you can work, and you choose not to return to your job or quit your job, you may lose your wage replacement benefits, though you may be able to retain your medical coverage.
If you disagree with your physician and feel you are medically unable to work or that restricted/light duty aggravates your injury, do not quit before speaking with your employer, insurance adjuster, and doctor. You have the right to seek a second opinion. If you are in danger of losing your workers’ comp, you may want to consult with an attorney with our firm.
What If You Quit Your Job Before Filing for Workers’ Comp?
What if you quit your job and then discover an injury that may qualify for workers’ compensation? For example, say you sprained your back at work, did not think it was serious, quit, and later found out you needed medical treatment and physical therapy.
Florida Statutes § 440.185 states that you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days of its occurrence. If you are within this window, you can pursue workers’ comp benefits, even if you quit your job. However, your employer and insurer may be more likely to fight the claim. It may also be more difficult to establish that your injury is work-related.
There are exceptions to the 30-day reporting window, so even if you are outside the deadline, you should still attempt to seek coverage. We can tell you more and assist with filing claims with your previous employer.
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Can Filing for Workers’ Comp Cause You To Lose Your Job?
According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, it is illegal for an employer to fire you for getting hurt at work or filing a workers’ compensation claim. But, if you cannot return to your job until you get medical clearance from your doctor, your employer does not have to keep your position open for you until you heal.
Your employer also does not have to offer you restricted or light-duty work if it is unavailable at your workplace. Workers’ compensation may provide reemployment services if you lose your job due to injury or cannot return to your previous line of work.
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How Can a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help You?
Quitting your job can complicate your workers’ compensation claim. You may want to work with an attorney who can protect your legal rights and help you secure or retain your benefits. A lawyer with our firm can do the following:
- Gather medical records, accident reports, and other evidence to support your compensation benefits claim
- Draft and file insurance and legal paperwork
- Communicate with insurance agents and other involved parties on your behalf
- Negotiate for the maximum compensation possible
- Answer your workers’ comp questions, ensure you understand your responsibilities under the law, and provide you with frequent case updates
We can file a Petition for Benefits to appeal denied claims or discontinued workers’ comp coverage if necessary. Our team can help you strengthen your case with additional evidence and represent you during medication or a workers’ compensation hearing.
Can You Sue Your Employer?
No. If your employer provides workers’ compensation insurance, you usually cannot sue them for workplace injury damages. However, if your accident resulted from negligence, you can pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a nonsubscriber employer or a liable third party, such as a property owner, equipment manufacturer, or subcontractor.
In some cases, you may also need to take legal action against the insurance company to resolve your workers’ comp claim. If you must file a lawsuit, you must do so within the deadlines set by Florida’s statutes of limitations, outlined in Florida Statutes § 95.11. Our personal injury attorney can explain more about how the laws may affect your case.
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers About Your Florida Work Injury Case
You can get workers’ comp in Florida if you quit your job, but it may be a good idea to consult with our law firm before you do. Workers’ compensation claims can be complex, especially if your employment changes while applying for or receiving coverage.
Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers has 20 years of legal experience we can put behind getting you a full and fair settlement. Call us for a free consultation and learn how our workers’ compensation lawyers can fight for you. We take cases on contingency, meaning our services cost nothing up front or out of pocket.
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